26.1859, FYI: Call for Chapters: The Sociolinguistics of Hip-Hop as Critical Conscience

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LINGUIST List: Vol-26-1859. Wed Apr 08 2015. ISSN: 1069 - 4875.

Subject: 26.1859, FYI: Call for Chapters: The Sociolinguistics of Hip-Hop as Critical Conscience

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Editor for this issue: Ashley Parker <ashley at linguistlist.org>

Date: Wed, 08 Apr 2015 12:58:16
From: Andrew Ross [andrew.ross at canberra.edu.au]
Subject: Call for Chapters: The Sociolinguistics of Hip-Hop as Critical Conscience

 Dissatisfaction and Dissent: The Sociolinguistics of Hip-Hop as Critical Conscience

''Media stars are spectacular representations of living human beings, distilling the essence of the spectacle's banality into images of possible roles'' (Guy Debord, 1967/1994: 17). Music is an art form and a commentary on society. As a genre of artistic expression originating from “underrepresented black teenagers living in the South Bronx in the late 1970s” (Flores, 2012:1), hip-hop now holds global appeal and possesses an “ability to translate across cultural, ethnic, racial, geographic and generational boundaries” (Abe, 2003: 264). 

Building upon earlier work focusing on the glocalized nature of hip-hop (Pennycook & Mitchell, 2009) and the growth of ‘Critical Hip-Hop Pedagogies’ (Akom, 2009), the proposed volume strives to document, from a predominantly
sociolinguistic perspective, how past and contemporary hip-hop artists utilize the vernacular of the genre as a means of expressing dissatisfaction and dissent (often conceptualized and expressed as ‘the truth’).

We the editors are as “committed to the study of language and culture, as [we] are to the potential of social transformation through intellectual inquiry. That is, we are not interested in a linguistics that narrowly presents speech
as dislocated from the lives of its speakers” (Alim, 2009: 5). Therefore, chapter proposals are welcome that document, investigate, and analyze the ways in which the hip-hop genre functions as a “tool of empowerment and celebration for marginalized peoples to project their voices and speak their truth” (Shami, 2012: 27-28). In many instances, and across various socioeconomic, cultural, and national boundaries, this ‘truth’ is expressed in relation to established social, cultural and political processes, structures and movements.

Possible questions for exploration include, but are not limited to:

- How does hip-hop function as a form of activism in localized contexts?
- How are bonds formed between hip-hop artists across linguistic and/or national boundaries?
- To what extent does the vernacular of hip-hop utilize additional languages?
- Is the expression of dissatisfaction and dissent a necessity of hip-hop fashion?
- Can the expression of dissatisfaction and dissent be configured as a display of democracy?
- Is there a specific vernacular within hip-hop related to the expression of dissatisfaction and dissent?
- If hip-hop artists are social spectacles or media stars, how can they maintain a marginalized voice?
- Is the hip-hop vernacular of dissatisfaction and dissent a commodity of popular culture?
- What educational potential does the hip-hop vernacular possess?
- How does the hip-hop vernacular create and contribute to a protest identity?
- How is swearing used within the hip-hop vernacular and for what purpose?
- What examples are there within the hip-hop vernacular where artists have aligned themselves alongside specific instances of activism and/or social unrest (e.g. Occupy Wall Street, The London Riots)?

While acknowledging connections with previous sociolinguistic work on hip-hop, chapters should strive to further raise awareness of the possibilities offered by the genre and its contemporary role as a window into the critical conscience of society. All methodological approaches will be considered and we encourage authors to be creative and ambitious. 

Potential authors are invited to submit a 400-word proposal and a short author biography to the editors Dr. Damian J. Rivers (rivers at fun.ac.jp) and Dr. Andrew S. Ross (andrew.ross at canberra.edu.au) by September 1, 2015. Final chapter selection will be made by October 1, 2015 and full chapters of 7,000 words will be due on April 1, 2016. Publication will be sought with a major international publisher.
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis

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